Bayes Theorem

Predicting quality of life in Charlotte neighborhoods

Charlotte is a diverse city comprised of many distinct neighborhoods, from Southend and Dilworth to Plaza Midwood and NoDa among many others. If you’re unfamiliar with the area you can read about some of the unique historical and cultural characteristics of each major neighborhood here. For a more complete list of the approximately 199 neighborhoods in Charlotte, see here.

Although neighborhood descriptions can obviously help one to get a general feel for an area, what would probably be most helpful to someone relocating to Charlotte is a specific prediction about the likelihood of having a high quality of life in the neighborhood they’re considering. (more…)

Dining out with Bayes Theorem (Updated)

Imagine you’re looking for a place to eat. Say for example you’re in the mood for Mexican food. So, you go to Yelp and type “Mexican” into the search bar and up come a variety of results.

After scrolling through the list, you pick one that seems like it could be good. It’s nearby, not too expensive, and most importantly it gets a positive rating on the basis of a fairly decent number of reviews. Let’s say it gets 4 stars based on 17 reviews.

Here’s the question I pose to you – just how much can you trust this 4 star rating? How do we know that this rating is a fairly accurate reflection of the quality of the food and overall dining experience at this restaurant? And how do we know that this rating is not merely due to some other extraneous circumstance? (more…)